Captain Smollett - Treasure Island
Here’s a brief piece offering my imagined insight into the mind and motivations of Captain Alexander Smollet of the Hispaniolia.  ‘My’ Captain Smollet was inspired by the U.K.2012 miniseries based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s, classic novel ‘Treasure Island.  The 2012 miniseries was produced for British Sky Broadcasting.


Smollett stood on the bow of his ship at midnight, his soul taking in a silvery expanse and the moonlit cotton clouds. And Smollett remembered. For a sliver of a second he remembered a reason why he’d first wanted to go to sea. To the sea and hence to ships.

Only at sea did he have at least, moments, in the solitude of his Watch when he could escape the narrow confines of duty and human affairs. At such times Smollett didn’t have to think; To plan. He could simply watch his thoughts and feelings instead – as they rose and fell with the sea. Rhythmic, methodical. Pacific one time. Wild and racing another.

The sea held all his moods and it knew them. And it was the sea which brought them before him to see, to act upon; and when no-one else could know Smollett’s heart, his soul, the sea always did. The sea shared his soul and he was for a flash; a spark of time, not alone.
But a sea captain had to pay a heavy price for these elusive flashes of luminescence. That price was Duty, Command and constant vigilance over the crew on whom Smollett depended, to bring the ship to its pre-destined Port. To bring the ship to Smollett’s destination.
Always a destination he was commanded to by his naval superiors. Or more frustratingly, by men of means who had commissioned his services through Smollett’s naval superiors. So whilst Smollett commanded his crew, he himself was often commanded by the men of means and influence who’d engaged him for an excursion or campaign of their own ends. Men who were used to commanding servants and receiving obedience. Men to whom Smollett himself was almost as a servant.

It was a constant battle for Smollett to daily straddle his roles of Commander one minute and commanded the next. But in the quiet of the night, amidst the dead dark of a moonless sea or a wash of silver which stretched to the edges of a full moon, the faithful sea always told Smollett whom he really was and why he was really there. Fortified with this knowledge, with this remembering, Smollett could feel the darkness inure him against the indignities of being under the command of men with little knowledge of the sea and its demands. He could better bear the strain of commanding a crew that he had little part in choosing.  It was a taut balance of authority and discipline and humanity, which Smollett had to engineer, to keep this ship of souls afloat and heading to its unalterable destination.

But hardest of all was Smollett’s battle to keep the balance within himself. The personal balance that allowed him, even in fleeting moments, to feel the heart of the sea. And so to hear his own heart. To remember why he wanted the sea in the first place. Yet it was to remember, to feel this, that gave him the strength and a reason to carry on under a difficult command. To carry on as his own man.

phil, my wonderful life
A scene between from the BBC drama ‘Vanity Fair’. Amelia finally acknowledges Dobbin's love. The characters were created by William Makepeace Thackery.

He stood there without words. She drew near to his side. Over his heart, hovered her pale, small hand. He lightly curled his arm about her shoulders. He could not lift his eyes to hers. He looked down to where that hand hovered feather-like, and watched.

The feather lifted and fluttered some more while he watched, his breath shaking and shivering behind his face. The softness finally landed; butterfly light; And his breath finally broke. He let out a voiceless sob & closed his eyes in relief. He drank in her touch as water in the desert. He gently guided her close in toward him.

They stood quietly merged as one. His many years of longing; the lonely all were over.


'Hungry Eyes' or 'Portrait'
phil, my wonderful life
Acknowledgement: This story is based on two scenes from the BBC 2003 telemovie, 'Byron'.  I  have amalgamated those scenes so they are not exactly as depicted in the movie.  But the character I depict is William Fletcher, manservant to Lord Byron, and is based on his portrayal in the BBC telemovie.

He sat alone on a hard bunk-bed in a small dark room.  His face was front-lit by a watery pale light that washed a single small window. The only other glint of light shone from the centre of a minature glass cameo cradled gently within his large hands.

He looked down. It was a portrait he held; an image of a woman - not young, but not old.  Her face was plain but fine-featured and all he could see were those wide soft dove-grey eyes looking up at him; sadly - imploring him, "Come home William."

Bending his long height low, William brought his eyes, his heart, as close as possible to the treasured image and encircled it in his warmth.

William's gaze was held there for some time, sinking into those grey eyes, willing himself to be with her.  A long finger delicately, slowly, traced the outline of the glass and then lingered lightly over one cheek of the portrait, then under the lips.

He covered the face with the warmth of his hand and slowly peeled his shoulders upright with a long sinking sigh. The torrential rain barred his view from the window.  But William looked through; beyond the rain.

He looked and looked and searcAhed - knowing that somewhere out there, thousands of miles way were those eyes waiting for him; looking back at him with the same longing.  If he looked long enough and far enough, perhaps he would see them.

The rain roared louder. Dusk drew on. William remained. And the room darkened.



This story is written in response to a competion hosted by fox_murphy to create a piece of LOM and/or A2A fan-fiction including some or all of a 10 words that fox has chosen. I've used all of them. YAY! For some reason I can't acess formatting tools for this entry. So I have put my key competition words in capitals. (tho there are also just a few other words in caps. My story is rated G. Enjoy! By the way, I enter this story for TEAM GENE.


Since landing in the 80’s, Alex had had many hard days. In C.I.D. there was the Sexism, the Racism and even the brutality and contempt toward the villains and the misfits that were dragged in off the streets.

There were the whispers of corruption and of course being on the street itself often having to face what really were the scum of the earth - and the misery of their victims. Somehow it seemed more raw and ‘in your face’ then she’d remembered from where she came from.

‘Where she came from’. That made for hard days too. Remembering and longing after her daughter Molly and wondering if she would ever get back to her. Wondering how, and feeling herself torn; going mad at the most inappropriate moments. Facing alone, the incomprehension on her colleagues faces as she spun out.

But today had been the hardest. And it wasn’t even because Gene had suspended her and demanded her Warrant Card. Bad enough – but it was Gene’s complete and utter loss of trust in her that hurt her most. She hated him at that moment, but she cared too. Cared about what she’d lost with him.

And it was seeing his Hurt too. She’d hurt him deeply. She saw that in his tight, ice-blue stare; A stare that pierced her. There was the occasional perfunctory sentence he’d delivered in a dead-cold voice. But apart from that, there was the stony, silence – the silence, the stillness and the stare - as Alex tumbled her words out trying to make him believe a bizarre story.

This was the Gene she feared. Not the yelling, arguing, insulting version. At least that Gene showed a passion of sorts. At least he was engaged. Gene yelled and argued and bullied, the way other people said `Good morning’, or `Pleased to meet you’ or `Thank you’. It was normal.

But today, standing before her, quietly, coldly demanding her Warrant card, Alex knew Gene felt betrayed; Knew that he’d cut her; Cut her off from him completely. And she knew it gave him no pleasure.

When she left, Alex felt the knots tighten in her belly, the heat rise to her face and her eyes ready to weep. It was all mostly because of her confusion. She hated him; She hated herself. Alex had to make sense of this somehow; Unravel her feelings and thoughts. She needed to talk, talk, TALK until it was all out. But to whom? There was literally-nobody!

In the past she could use Gene as a sounding board to some extent. Yes he might ignore or disparage her as she wittered on. But he tolerated it and she trusted him. Gene was big enough to absorb it all. Without impact sometimes. Yet it would leave Alex feeling a bit more relieved of her anxieties a bit more organised in her mind. But that door was now closed to her.

Okay! The only other solution was to crush these feelings; obliterate them. Get drunk! But not alone. Alex feared the thoughts of loathing; of confusion and frustration; the thoughts of self-hatred that threatened to overwhelm her, drunk or not.

She needed to have all her conscious thoughts clamped down. She needed her body to be taken over by thudding, mind numbing noise; To have her whole being crushed and lost and morphed into a heaving, palpitating mass of like-minded city rats escaping the horrors of the day, as she was.

Alex left C.I.D. and slammed her self straight into her CAR and screamed off to Soho. She didn’t even bother to tart herself up; to change into ‘something slutty’. ‘Oh God! Why won’t his words go away?’. She didn’t change. Who for? What for? Alex didn’t care whether she picked up, or got picked up, or was ignored. Just anything - as long as she could no longer think; no longer feel.

She careered around Soho and surrounds until she found the loudest, the dingiest, the most crowded NIGHTCLUB in the district. She’d be okay - for now.


The noise was driving Alex crazy. So high pitched; So querulous; So grating. What atrocious music was this? She was dozing and tried to ignore it. But the sound picked at her incessantly. She opened her eyes. Alex was looking at two dowdy middle-aged women ferreting about in a GARDEN nattering to each other in a whiney questioning way. Where the hell was she?

It was the T.V. she could hear. Alex was home; curled on her couch. How she didn’t know; With whom? Well no-one in sight; But Alex half-wondered in her daze if there were the remains of a man passed out somewhere in her flat. Indeed she did think she had heard snatches of snores emanating from some distance place. But it could have been from herself. Anyhow, she’d forgotten anything that might have taken place that night. That morning. And yet she did remember, that for some reason, forgetting was good. Today anyway.

Alex cleared her head enough to realise she was now watching an early morning episode of `Rosemary and Thyme’. Well ‘dowdy’ might have been too strong a word to describe the two protagonists. One looked quite bright; Her ‘pixie’ looks kept middle-age at bay. In fact she looked quite good and she didn’t even have to ‘take her clothes off’. Alex giggled in an addled, uncontrollable way. `Oh God that’s funny! But where the hell did that thought come from?’ She thought she was starting to remember - something; someone. Whatever it was, it was painful. She shut her memory down again.

The other gardener, Alex couldn’t quite make out. She was larger; Well large and - `let’s face it’ - awkward. Ungainly. Clunky. She was bent over, legs astride, face hidden under the world’s largest STRAW HAT. She wore a loud flowery, rather billowing blouse and a plain expansive SKIRT. She pruned a heavily thickened rose-bush with chunky man-hands and then doused them in WATER from her can. Alex stifled another stupefied giggle. ‘Oh the poor woman! She can't help it if she's more man than maiden!’

Alex had begun to doze again but soon her eyes started open.

`AAAGGGHHH!!’, the large woman cursed loudly - but in an odd rasping way. `What’s wrong?’ asked the Pixie?

`It’s the rose bush. The bloody thorns. They got me!’ yelled the other and at last she lifted her head. Alex could see the face; THAT face!

‘It’s the rose, Alex! Beware of the rose. Operation Rose!’ It was Gene. Staring bulge-eyed at Alex; desperation in his look.

‘Enough! Enough! Enough!’, Alex screeched aloud at the screen as she desperately fumbled to find the remote. ‘Not him again!’ This is just what she’d been trying to escape.

Click, click, click. Finally Alex was as far away as she could be from Gene, from London, from her life. Gary Cooper was now loping along on his HORSE on a black and white screen. He was tired no doubt from a busy day as Sheriff, trying to track down the movements of Liberty Valance.

Alex was suddenly starving so she left Cooper to amble on as she herself shuffled to the kitchen. She’d remembered the PLATE OF SUSHI sitting in her fridge. Making the sushi was one way of Alex reminding herself she was not of this time and must get back. She’d mentioned to Shaz one day, that she would kill for a quick tasty plate of sushi between blags but that she couldn’t find it anywhere in the city.

Shaz had screwed her mouth side-ways and looked at Alex in utter incomprehension and disgust as Alex tried to explain it’s contents. It hit Alex then that, of course! Food was as much of a fashion trend as clothes or music and ’80’s London just didn’t DO sushi! ‘You’ve never heard of sushi? Right!’ enthused Alex. `You’re in for a treat then. I’ll make you some.’

`Whatever’, said Shaz as she showed Chris an eye-rolling sneer. And indeed Alex came to wonder whether it had been worth the effort she’d put in, to traipse half-way around London and back again to beg and buy the ingredients one by one from a plethora of weird and wonderful back-street food shops. Some exotic but most just downright dodgy.

For Alex’s sake Shaz had nibbled at Alex’s creation but then promptly gagged. Gene had stopped dead in his tracks and stared at two lonely, dark, perfectly formed, untouched sushi rolls. He stared - blankly; blinking; as the clock, and the cogs in his mind ticked slowly on. He looked up, serious, asked the room ‘Who let the dog in?’ and promptly strode on to his office. The other responses weren’t much better. ‘Oh well,’ thought Alex. ‘At least I’ll have my own tasty, secret symbol of the ‘Noughties’ to bring back the memories of my real home.’

And now she had the treat to enjoy. Legs curled under her as she sat on her couch watching a Classic on the Tele. In that world, the sun was going down and Gary’s head lolled beneath his broad hat as his HORSE plodded on home. The sleepy rhythm and her full stomach, sent Alex off again after a while, to a relaxed wakefulness. `At last. Peace’, she thought. `Who knows how long it will last? But grab it while you can.’

CLICK! The sound in the silence was like a bomb blast to Alex’s ears. She jerked her head up. She saw the screen. But there was no cinematic vista. Instead the screen was filled; Filled with the black hole of a Smith and Wesson GUN barrel and above, on each side of the barrel were two huge staring steel-grey eyeballs rolling and looming madly from under sharply arched eyebrows.

‘I’ll kill you Alex! I’ll kill you!’ It was him! Again! Gene!
‘No! No! No!Please no!’ Alex screamed at the set. Again, the remote - she scrabbled for it. This time to turn the horror screen off altogether. But she stopped and sat bolt-upright.

‘My God! My God! But it’s TRUE! Gene DID say that.’ Last night; As she left the C.I.D. He just couldn’t leave it at taking her Warrant card. He’d deliberately followed her to the door of his office and had shouted to her for everyone to hear, ‘You dare to get in my way and I swear to God I will I’ll kill you!’

Now here in her flat, Gene was still screaming on the screen, ‘I’ll kill you!’ His voice now an uncontrolled falsetto rasp; His face reddening and sweating with rage. A single strand of loosened hair shook furiously on his forehead.


A quiet ‘click’. A second’s silence. Then…the sound deafened Alex. It filled her whole head.

Alex woke up.


Based on scene and characters from BBC production 'Cranford'
*The verse quoted is from "Elegy written in a Country Church-Yard" by Thomas Gray

(Readers may wish to read 'Harry's Story-Beginnings,

Harry stood stock-still by the open coffin. In the coffin lay his friend. The only friend he'd had in his short 13 years. His friend, Mr Carter. 'Edmund'. 'Edmund Carter' he'd now learned his name was.

But in Life, his friend was always only 'Mr Carter' to Harry as he was to most of those around him. Though at least now knowing his name, helped Harry to feel as close as he could to his 'Mr Carter' in Death.

He wasn't sobbing as he looked on Edmund. Harry's large grey eyes stood stoic and alone and older than his years. Yet the tears streamed heavily and silently from them and his full closed lips were softening with emotion.

Edmund lay before him - his brown wavy hair smarmed flat and high above a broad, intelligent forehead; A forehead that Harry could not remember ever really seeing in LIfe.

Whenever he'd seen Edmund - or Mr Carter as he was to Harry then - his forehead was generally obscured by a fall of urnruly locks disturbed from his head by the elements and by his own heated exertions as he forged his way around for miles outdoors each day, attending to business on the farms and lands of his Lady's Estates, and vigourously discoursing and negotiating with the tenants and workers of the Estate.

And this was how Harry was used to seeing Mr Carter. Coloured, fresh faced and slightly dishevelled from attending to the chores that he was obliged to pursue away from his office; But chores that were more a pleasure to Mr Carter as he felt no satisfaction as great as when he was busy and useful, and being buffetted by the bracing country air and the sounds of rural life. Better that than alone in his office too long with his thoughts and the melancholy that threatened.

Harry had always been grateful to Mr Carter for inviting him to sit in his office with him from time to time, where he would teach Harry how to help him with the accounts of the Estate. Little did Harry understand that it was also Mr Carter who was grateful; Grateful to Harry for keeping his mind happily occupied with teaching and with company when he needed to still himself to attend to his office duties.

The boy now remembered too, the light, bright eyes that could sometimes flick about restlessly under a reserved and frequently glowering brow. He remembered that large expressive mouth which rarely spoke, except perfunctionally in the course of business: But a mouth which nonetheless said much as it chewed upon many a conundrum or occassionally struggled to hold down an emotion.

Yes. That was the Edmund that Harry knew. Not this odd, neatened, life-less version exposing a full, and still face that Harry had never seen in Life. Those eyes and lips were now shut up tight against that Life. The only colour on Edmund's face now the rouging of some slight scarring remaining from the accident; the accident that had placed him here.

And yet seeing Edmund lying straight and long there in his Sunday best, Harry saw that he did at leat still look steadfast and honourable as truly he was in Life. All in all Harry thought Edmund looked like a freshly scrubbed school-boy, ready, combed and serious for his first day of lessons. Ready to meet the Master.

"There'll be a funeral lad", Jem the undertaker spoke gently. "I might not be allowed to go." said Harry through a tight, quiet voice, his chin beginning to tremble. Instead, Harry pulled a small old brown leather-bound volume from his coat pocket and commenced to read from a book of verse. A book which was a precious gift from his friend. Now, in honour of Edmund, Harry spoke clearly and calmly - bravely - if in a subdued tone.

*Graved on a stone beneath yon aged thorn.
Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth
A youth to Fortune and Fame unknown.
Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth,
And Melancholy marked him for her own.

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heaven did a recompense as largely send
He gave to Misery all he had, a tear,
He gained from Heaven ('twas all he wish'd) a friend.

Harry placed the book gently over Edmund's heart, then slowly, reluctantly withdrew his hand again. Only now did Harry's chin truly tremble and his face crumple. Still he did not sob. But a fresh waterfall of tears blinded his eyes and flooded down his face.

He looked up at Jem, his eyes still large. Quietly, sombrely and now through heaving sobs Harry instructed him in a breaking whisper, "You can put the lid on now."


March 22nd, 18:22

NEWS FLASH: Miss Galindo Dips a Dainty Toe Into the Inkwell of Life....

Welcome to Miss Galindo's Writing Desk. Here I shall post a variety of vignettes, character studies and personal reflections. I'm not likely to post complete stories at this stage. But then is anything ever 'complete' while we still breathe? Instead I will post practice pieces of my take on characters or scenes - real or fictional - that have moved or motivated me in some way.

Some of my pieces will be taken from scenes or characters from television shows that have featured British actor, Philip Glenister. He is an actor whose ability and versatility I’ve become increasingly impressed with as I discover more and more of his performances.

And um…yeah…okay…he IS a bit of ‘orright too!

Many of the exquisite scenes and memorable characters, from the shows that he has been in, have remained in my imagination and it’s they that have motivated me to finally fill my pen and give writing a whirl....and believe me, that takes some doing, for me!

Finally though and most importantly, I dedicate Miss Galindo’s Writing Desk to my parents Cyril and Kath, both of whom were lovers of good story-telling and who regularly read myself and my sister off to the Land of Dreams when we were children .

It was my Dad (known to have raised an effective pen himself), who always urged me to write. He urged me to write because he believed I could. Well you be the judge, Dear Reader.

My Mum shone in writing as a school-girl. She loved her poetry and often recited the verses from those days that had most impressed her. It was she who always said to me, "If you want something badly enough, you'll find a way." Only now in middle-age, as is often the case, do I finally understand that advice.

Sadly it is too late to say 'Thank you' to either of them for their faith and I regret them not being alive to see me finally, tentatively try my hand at the pen. I hope my first hopeful attempts at writing can at least in some way be a Tribute and a 'Thank you' to them.

New readers may like to first read my 'Welcome'on 7/3/2010.

THIS STORY is based on my Great Great Grandfather, Harry Storer.

Harry Storer ended in the same place he began. On a beautiful island full of green, and writhing with loud, squawking, ridiculously coloured birds. And in the bay the dolphins leapt.

In some ways it wasn’t all that different from the land he’d left. The salt on the air, the scree of gulls, the bracing clean air. Even the community in each place had their equal shares of flotsam and jestom who either passed through, or holed their lives up in various eccentric abodes.

But there were differences. On the island the sun was harsher, brighter and always there. It entered into every crevice of your life. The birds were bigger, louder and though often beautiful to look at their cries were frequently ugly and drunken.

When Harry arrived here 60 years earlier, the differences were exciting! He had changed his name, and his country and this was his first introduction to a new land, a new life. It was enlivening to the heart of a young man.

Once he, along with his fellow passengers, had passed their quarantine period on the island, Harry left for the mainland and immersed himself into the business of making a living and a life.

Now Harry had returned for the first time and the differences were no longer new to him. Still they pleased him well enough but this time it was their very familiarity with which he was pleased.

This was the last time that Harry would return, for he knew he would never leave the island again, alive.


THIS STORY is based on my Great Great Grandfather, Harry Storer.
(The first entry in this series is the piece: HARRY STORER'S RETURN, posted 16/3/2010)

Harry knew he would end his days on the island in isolation from his family. But he was content. As content as he could be, considering he was virtually deprived forever from his family who still lived on the mainland – but several days journey away.

One couldn’t live forever. And one couldn’t expect family to there every-day, all day to support your frailty. Well that’s how he had to think anyway, and yes he understood. He had to.

Instead he made his books his companions – not for the first time in his life. And his imagination was alive enough to keep him some joy-filled company at least. Most days. Besides he was looked after well along with all the other old and ageing folk who had no other means of practical support.

He was deemed strong enough to help with the running of the place, and for his dignity’s sake was given those chores with which he could cope. At night he slept in his spare but comfortable iron bed in the clean, airy wood-smelling dorm with his fellow inmates. The scent of native pines drifted in on the night air.

Often his lamp would burn late into the night on his square wooden bed-stand for as long as it didn’t disturb his fellows. At those times it was his stories, and the breathing of the sea that would keep him company. Sometimes the sea sound could even remind him of his homeland. A homeland to which he felt his soul would soon journey.

The Governors did their best to keep this little community happy and fulfilled. They strove to sustain the imaginations and minds of their charges with a well-stocked and revolving library and with regular entertainments in a purpose built hall. They also organised various regular social events to which such members of the inmates families who were able to visit, could also attend.

Harry appreciated all this – he never liked to be unappreciative – and he occasionally joined in, in his quiet way. But more often you would find him of an evening, sitting in the cool on the verandah puffing his pipe, reading his book, occasionally nodding quietly and courteously to a passing fellow or lady – but more often Harry would be drifting away to a freer place. Or a place where memories could live.


NOTE TO READERS: You may like to first read 'THE PARTING'(8th March 2010)

Based on a scene from BBC series 'Byron'.

Horses, carriages, coaches and hansome cabs. Prams, people, men, women, squealing children. People, prams hansome cabs and carriages. Back and forth they rattled and rushed – noisily, ceaselessly. Thick and deep.

She stepped from her Mistress’s house, straight on to that churning street. She was talking. But a flash of something familiar caught her eye amidst the crowding. And yet is was not familiar - to this place. What she saw, was far on the other bank of the road. But it couldn’t be. She wasn’t expecting this – but could it be so?

Cabs, horses, people shut the sight from her view. Then – a gap. The image still stood. A man. A man’s arm and shoulder at least. A familiar build dressed in formal black. Not moving - the only scene in the street that wasn't. Yes and just before the crowd closed over again – the eyes. Those eyes.

Gone again. But with anxious eyes she strained to see. Then the Rushing broke, briefly – for a breath only. And she saw as through a window…him. Standing there. Stock still. Arms a fraction akimbo as if allowing breath into a heaving heart. His lips were slightly parted, as to let in a gasp. His eyes were weary. So weary! But his face still strong – as always.

In that brief space, he took in her face. Round, white and with roses. And her eyes – those soft grey eyes. Desperate to cry but too strong to break. His only need now was to break that drought and to free her tears.

Horse, cabs, hansomes, carriages, people, shouts, bells and the cries of Hawkers. The crowd closed over again. But they heard nothing.


Miss Galindo Loosens her Bonnet Stays - A Little.
For my Lady readers, here is collection of rather 'bonnet-loosening' photos of Mr Philip Glenister in his latest manifestation as Charles Forester in the movie 'Bel Ami'. Please read on after these photos, for my assesment of them.

Don't you think Mr Glenister looks rather fetching in his outfit? Dashing, in fact. Although I am told the modern expression is PHWOAAARRR! However, as I am unfamiliar with this term, I invite comments on this issue from the budding lexicographers among you.

But in plain old-fashioned 'Miss Galindo' English I must say these images show Philip to be a fine strapping figure of a chap. Please enjoy.


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